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UM System makes standardized testing optional for incoming undergraduate students


Stephanie Fleming

Applicants may choose to submit ACT or SAT scores for 2021–2022 academic year

The University of Missouri System today announced a pilot program that makes standardized testing optional for all first-time undergraduate applicants. The temporary admission policy applies to first-time undergraduate applicants applying for admission to the 2021–2022 academic year.

“We recognize COVID-19 and the limited accessibility and availability of standardized tests nationwide present stress and challenges for applicants. This temporary policy will eliminate a hurdle created by the pandemic,” UM System President and MU Chancellor Mun Choi said. “Applications will still be thoroughly reviewed and must meet our institutional standards for academic excellence.”

Students may still choose to submit ACT or SAT scores, and the admissions requirements and review process for those applicants will remain unchanged. Applicants who choose not to submit a standardized test score will not disadvantage their application. Their applications will be reviewed based on GPA, class rank, academic course load, rigor of coursework, extracurricular and leadership activities, letters of recommendation and personal essays. Each UM institution will set its own standards for minimum GPA.

“This pilot program will allow greater flexibility for student applicants in a way that keeps our universities competitive without sacrificing standards,” said Steve Graham, senior associate vice president for academic affairs. “It will also provide meaningful data to our universities to consider in regards to our formal admissions policy in the future.”

In January, the University of Missouri-Kansas City announced it would no longer require ACT or SAT scores as part of standard admissions requirements.


Reviewed 2020-08-05